World’s first 3D-printed virtual reality art is a glorious gamechanger

By Kitty Knowles 10 January 2017

Will you step into the future of art?

We love 3D-printing, and we love virtual reality. And this week, the Royal Academy of Arts and HTC Vive will present the first ever 3D printed artworks in virtual reality.

Created by Royal Academy Schools’ students and alumni, Adham Faramawy, Elliot Dodd and Jessy Jetpacks, London’s new Virtually Real exhibition will push the boundaries of art as we know it.

What will you see?

Each piece has been drawn into thin air, using a set of hand-held virtual reality controllers, before aspects of each digital sculpture has been 3D-printed as part of a physical display.

This means you get to experience each artist’s groundbreaking work in both virtual and physical form.

While Dodd explores the authoritative spirit of the confident techno-macho-man, Faramawy addresses issues of the body and identity.

Jetpacks addresses everything from the global political climate to the private human condition, with poetic and humorous turns.

Why so special?

Virtual art allows sculpture to be experienced in whole new ways.

Not only can you walk under, through and around the works (in a world where gravity ceases to exist), but playback technology allows pieces to be experienced as they are created, as well as in their final physical forms.

You’ll even be allowed to try your own hand at creating a VR masterpieces – with software like Google Tilt Brush.

“This innovative project [will] extend our knowledge into the relatively unchartered territories for works of art using virtual and digital means,” said Mark Hampson, Head of Fine Art Processes, Royal Academy Schools.

“The work will signpost us to unexpected future creative outcomes and new universes of artistic possibility, helping mould the identity of future art school creativity.”

Virtually Real will run from Thursday 12 January – Saturday 14. Tickets must be pre-booked here and cost £45.00 (including a complimentary drink).

Read more: Treehugger VR: You can now crawl inside & float up the world’s famous forests

Read more: Spectacular virtual city painting crashes forth at Lumen Prize

Read more: Atomic bombs & a fiery Australian outback: VR art hits MoMA for first time

Read more: National Theatre opens spellbinding virtual reality studio